Re: continuity of self [ was META: Sept. 11 and Singularity]

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Mon Sep 16 2002 - 23:59:06 MDT

Ben Goertzel wrote:

>>>It would seem that the only solution is to try to
>>>accelerate a friendly singularity (friendly intentionally not
>>>capitalized to denote a more general case).
>>I don't think that is the only solution. Only solution
>>scenarios are dangerous when/if the "only solution" fails to
>>work out. [Samantha]
> I agree that it's not possible to single out an "only solution" in a
> situation of so much uncertainty.
> However, that shouldn't stop us from analyzing possible solutions as to
> their estimated probability.
> And I still think that, based on all the evidence available, the Friendly AI
> route has the highest chance of success, out of all the possibilities
> raised.

I am not so sure these days. Eliezer and team, afaik, haven't
really got moving on implementation. You know your own status
far better than I. It is an unknown whether >H AI can be
produced in the time frame (< 30 years) I believe is the most
hyper-critical. And of course it would be really useful if it
existed next week. But no pressure! :-) If it is produced it is
another huge unknown if it will be "friendly" in the rather
collogial sense of actually being a boon, a freeing of humanity
from so many limitations and so much suffering in a positive
sense or not.

As unlikely as sufficient shift of institutions and people's
perceptions and practices are, I think that is at least as
likely to work as FAI. Humans are pretty effective meme
carriers. Every little bit of relative sanity in this direction
may put off the likelihood of doom a bit longer giving other
solutions a chance. But at the rate we are going today I would
not take serious bets that we will be free of very major global
war and destruction within this decade.

> But I can't make this statement with enough confidence to say that other
> possible solutions shouldn't be avidly pursued too. As far as I can tell
> right now, they should be.

Yes. That is also my conclusion. I plan to attempt the shift
of consciousness approach. Someone has to.

- samantha

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